Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales is a cause for celebration, landmark work that gathers in one volume many of Africa's most cherished folktales. Mandela, a Nobel Laureate for Peace, has selected these thirty-two tales with the specific hope that Africa's oldest stories, as well as a few new ones, be perpetuated by future generations and be appreciated by children throughout the world. In these "beloved stories, morsels rich with the gritty essence of Africa," we meet, among many others, a Kenyan lion named Simba, a snake with seven heads and a trickster from Zulu folklore; we hear the voices of the scheming hyena and learn from a Khoi fable how animals acquired their tails and horns. Several creation myths tell us how the land, its animals, and its people all came into existence under a punishing sun or against the backdrop of a spectacularly beautiful mountain landscape. Whether warning children about the dangers of disobedience or demonstrating that the underdog can--and often does--win, these stories, through their depiction of wise animals as well as evil monsters, are "universal in their portrayal of humanity, beasts, and the mystical." What is particularly exciting about this book is that many of the stories, in their oral form, are almost as old as Africa itself. Most of them were, in fact, first told in various African tongues around evening fires in centuries past--tales from, for example, the San and the Khoi, the original hunter-gatherers and livestock herders of Southern Africa. Translated into English and other European languages chiefly in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries from their original languages--be they Karanga, Nguni, Xhosa, or one of many others--these folktales are a testament to the craft of storytelling and the power of myth. Accompanied by dozens of enchanting, specially commissioned color paintings, Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales--culled from African countries as far-flung as Morocco, Nigeria, Uganda, and Kenya--presents a fountain of precious knowledge that will be treasured by children, as well as adults, for years to come. (Ages 8-11)
Inspired by a true account, here is the compelling story of a child who arrives in America on the slave ship Amistad --and eventually makes her way home to Africa. (Ages 10 and up). When a drought hits her homeland in Sierra Leone, nine-year-old Magulu is sold as a pawn by her father in exchange for rice. But before she can work off her debt, an unthinkable chain of events unfolds: a capture by slave traders; weeks in a dark and airless hold; a landing in Cuba, where she and three other children are sold and taken aboard the "Amistad"; a mutiny aboard ship; a trial in New Haven that eventually goes all the way to the Supreme Court and is argued in the Africans' favor by John Quincy Adams. Narrated in a remarkable first-person voice, this fictionalized book of memories of a real-life figure retells history through the eyes of a child -- from seeing mirrors for the first time and struggling with laughably complicated clothing to longing for family and a home she never forgets. Lush, full-color illustrations by Robert Byrd, plus archival photographs and documents, bring an extraordinary journey to life.
On market day, Mama Panya's son Adika invites everyone they see to a pancake dinner! How will Mama Panya ever feed them all? With informative endnotes, this clever and heartwarming story about Kenyan village life will teach children the importance of sharing, even when you have little to give. (Ages 5-7)
The nine stories in this collection are taken from the rich tradition of African legend, and feature themes ranging from creation to the afterlife, from the natural world to magic and the supernatural, and from gods and heroes to monster and ogers. Fast-paced, yet clearly and lyrically told, these myths offer the reader a fascinating glimpse into African cultures both past and present, from the Yoruba peoples of Nigeria the Mbundu peoples of Angola to the Shona clans of Zimbabwe. (Ages 8-12)
Winner of the 1999 UNESCO prize and IBBY's Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities award, Sosu's Call by Ghanaian author/illustrator Meshack Asare is a story of heroism and resolve. Sosu is all alone in his family's compound when disaster strikes. The waters are rising, and most of the people of the village are in the fields. The only ones left are the very old and the very young. And Sosu, who cannot walk. Somehow he manages to make his way through the rising waters up the hill to the drum shed, where he sounds the alarm and saves the village. A book about differences, about acceptance, about what it means to be "normal." A book about the people and the lives that take place on the other side of the world, and in our own backyard. (Ages 4 and up)
The author ranks as one of the foremost living traditional African storytellers - as recognised by the acclaim of his first book, The Palmvine Drinkard. This book includes seven folktales especially for young adults, but of universal appeal. Beautiful black and white ink drawings illustrate the tales whose cast of characters include humans, a goddess, an elephant woman, a boa constrictor and a shell-man.
The Great Cake Mystery: Precious Ramotswe's Very First Case: A Number 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Book for Young Readers
Have you ever said to yourself, "Wouldn't it be nice to be a detective?" This is the story of an African girl who says just that. Her name is Precious. When a piece of cake goes missing from her classroom, a traditionally built young boy is tagged as the culprit. Precious, however, is not convinced. She sets out to find the real thief. Along the way she learns that your first guess isn't always right. She also learns how to be a detective. (recommended for ages 7to 9)